Inability to recruit resulted in inadequate inspection, says Kettering care provider

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A Kettering care provider which has been heavily criticised by health regulators for a second time says its inability to recruit is to blame.

Direct Health (Kettering) was slammed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in August after an inspection found patients were left without meals and medicines.

A follow-up inspection has graded them as ‘inadequate’ for a second time, after they were found lacking staff and resources.

The report said: “At this inspection we found that the provider had not provided enough resources to ensure that all the necessary improvements were made and to meet regulatory requirements.

“Although the provider had placed some additional senior staff in the branch during the last six months and the manager had developed action plans to address the failings in the service, the provider had failed to supply sufficient

resources to implement the action plan in a timely way.

“It is a concern that it took further intervention from CQC before the additional resource was allocated to the service.

“We found that most people did not receive care at regular times from staff that knew them.

“The staff rotas showed that staff were allocated for the convenience of the service and did not always take into account people’s needs or preferences.

“Staff did not follow the rotas they had been allocated.

“There were not enough staff to provide people’s care; the office staff and the manager were often providing care in the evenings and weekends as there were no appropriate contingency plans for unexpected

absences.”

A spokesman for Direct Health said recruitment is proving to be ‘hugely challenging’ due to funding issues.

The spokesman said: “Following the publishing of CQC’s latest inspection report, we would like to reassure our Direct Heath (Kettering) customers that they remain our priority, and that we are committed to delivering a good standard of service.

“We have been working to a stringent action plan since the previous inspection took place in 2016, with guidance from the Care Quality Commission.

“The action plan addressed the concerns raised.

“The CQC have acknowledged significant changes since the previous inspection, but felt that we still had further to go.

“Specifically, we need to recruit more staff into the service.

“There have been ongoing efforts to do this, but recruitment is hugely challenging due mainly to the well-publicised funding issues that the social care sector faces.

“We continue to address these challenges and we look forward to a re-inspection to demonstrate the further improvements made.”

The service provides care and support to 112 people.